Mario Gotze must prove that he is no World Cup final fluke

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Talk about putting yourself out there, by coming in on at the tender age of just 22 as an 88th minute substitute before scoring the only goal which gifts your country its first World Cup title in 24 years.

If Disney did World Cup finals, then it would probably go along the lines of a young Mario Götze, making his first appearance at a major international tournament and arguably scoring the biggest and most important goal in the global game.

Indeed, this is exactly what happened in Germany’s 1-0 victory against Argentina in the 32nd World Cup final, and it can be argued that Götze’s life will never be seen in the same way before the tournament kicked off in earnest.

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With scoring the most important goal in the history of German football, comes the unprecedented responsibility of proving to the world of football, including your international and domestic managers, the media, and your loyal followers that this goal was not a fluke.

Like most young men his age would have done if they had scored the winning World Cup final goal, Götze probably enjoyed a few too many drinks, accompanied with making one too many drunken interviews, whilst balancing the trophy on its head, not knowing what lay in store for him.

Needs his head back in the game

In reality any thoughts to the upcoming season, despite a barrage of post-match interviews directed towards the new Bundesliga campaign probably slipped his mind until hours of jubilant post-World Cup partying were ended following a downbeat phone-call with Pep Guardiola.

The highly strung Bayern Munich manager probably told Götze that he expected similar things to what he achieved during the World Cup from his prodigy in the upcoming season.

The 43-year-old Spaniard would have also taken a certain amount of joy in assuring the 22-year-old that he wouldn’t be afraid to drop him from the first-team if his World Cup final goal was playing on a loop in his head and getting in the way of his weekly performances.

Crunch campaign

Indeed, this is a make or break season for Guardiola, who is under an immense amount of pressure to not only get Bayern a hat-trick of continental and European titles, but also to ensure that the Bavarian giants era of dominance has not come to a premature end.

As a result, bigger things will be expected from the core of the current Bayern team, made up of six newly crowned World Cup champions, as they return to full fitness ahead of a campaign labelled as the year of judgement.

Perhaps the biggest call of judgement will inevitably be placed upon the shoulders of Götze who, despite scoring ten Bundesliga goals in his first season at Bayern since arriving from bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund, has to take his game to the next level.

Age Concern

With the average age of the current Bavarian outfit accompanied by a string of injuries swinging out of control, the podium is set for the young playmaker to, in the words of his international manager Joachim Low, “show the world that you are better than Messi.”

However, for the Memmingen born midfielder to do this, he will have to smell the fresh whiff of responsibility in the air and, like Messi has so often done in the past, drag, despite its perceived glamour, a rather sub-standard side to glory.

Up to this point, despite a successful first season at Bayern, there is a limited amount of evidence to prove this, with Götze still very much a student rather than a teacher of the Bavarian game.

Time to take the lead

However, with the likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben well into their early thirties it is inconceivable to suggest that Götze will have to start carrying this decomposing team to glory rather sooner than later.

Like everyone who starts of at a new job, they are given a certain amount of time to find their feet before taking a leap of faith, and this goes for Götze who is expected to take the jump this season with his side eyeing every single title at their disposal.

He did the honourable thing of scoring the most important goal in world football, but now he has to prove to everyone including Guardiola and his Bayern team-mates that he can and will step up to the plate when it is required of him.

Another thing that the plucky midfielder should be aware of is that Disney films always have happy endings, it is his time to prove this.

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Mario Gotze
Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich
World Cup

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